December 7, 2021 - 11:45 am
The Women’s Golf Coaches Association is shining a bright spotlight on UNLV coach Amy Bush-Herzer, who has been selected recipient of the 2021 Kim Evans Award.
The national honor singles out one individual in the country whose support of golf through teaching, coaching and involvement in the community helps grow the game.
“I was stunned,” Bush-Herzer said of the news. “It’s such a tremendous honor. I just had no idea.”
Now in her 11th year leading the Rebels, Bush-Herzer received the award Monday night in Las Vegas. It was an opportunity for her to reflect on a career — far from over — while in the midst of a pretty special season for her team.
“I don’t do this for the recognition,” she said, deflecting credit from herself and at other coaches, administrators and her players instead. “Las Vegas has given me and our team so much. If I can give back in any way, that’s my thank you.”
Give back is about all Bush-Herzer does. Besides coaching the Rebels, she is serving a three-year term on the Southern Nevada Chapter PGA Board of Directors. She was the first woman to serve as president of the board, has worked with the First Tee and is a past winner of the Bill Strausbaugh Award for community service.
But this latest honor is special. It’s named after Evans, the Hall of Fame coach who led Auburn for many years while setting a high bar for giving back to her community.
“To be given an award named after a legend, it’s such an honor,” Bush-Herzer said. “I have no words.”
But she has plenty of words when it comes to her players. Mostly inspirational. Mostly compassionate. Mostly wise.
“I have the opportunity to help them navigate some of the toughest four years of their lives,” she said of her players. “I try to show them that they’re going to be alright.”
Veronica Joels, the senior leader of this year’s team, said Bush-Herzer has been so much more than a coach during her time at UNLV.
“Coach Amy has influenced my development, especially as a student,” Joels said, who credits Bush-Herzer for helping her earn not only a bachelor’s degree, but a Masters and a graduate certificate all while playing for the Rebels.
“My future, whether in golf or hospitality, will be enhanced because of the support and opportunities from Coach Amy,” she said.
Bush-Herzer said teaching is a natural part of her life, with most of her family involved in some manner.
“It’s in my blood,” she said.
So is Las Vegas.
Since graduating in 2000 from New Mexico State, Las Vegas has been her home. She worked as an assistant pro at both SouthShore Golf Club and TPC Summerlin, and as chapter coordinator for the Southwest PGA.
She joined UNLV in 2007 as an assistant to Missy Ringler before taking over the reigns three years later.
“Las Vegas is my home. I’m integrated in the community,” she said. “This is where I want to be, and I’m fortunate to be able to do this for so long. I’ll be here as long as they want me.”
Birdies for Good
A total of $36,296 was raised Thanksgiving week at the second annual Southern Nevada Chapter PGA Birdies for Good at Eagle Crest Golf Course.
Seven area pros played 72 holes in one day and earned money from pledges for every birdie made, with proceeds going to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Las Vegas and Southern Nevada Chapter PGA Foundation.
Jim Delaney of Southern Highlands and Matt Henderson of TPC Las Vegas led the way with 17 birdies each. Henderson added a hole-in-one on the eighth hole of his first round.
Greg Robertson covers golf for the Review-Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What: QBE Shootout
Where: Naples, Florida; Tiburon GC (7,382 yards, par 72).
When: Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday, 1o a.m.-noon (Golf Channel), noon-2 p.m. (KSNV-3); Sunday, 9-11 a.m. (Golf Channel), 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (NBC).
Prize money: $3.6 million. Winners’ share: $648,000.
Defending champions: Harris English and Matt Kuchar.